Introduction
in Religion, war and Israel’s secular millennials
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This chapter introduces the main argument and contribution to the comparative academic literature on political violence, religion and ethnic nationalism. It also sets out two research questions and how these intersect throughout the book: First, as a young ‘secular’ Jew, what does it feel like coming of age during a phase of national conflict when Palestinian and Israeli government leaders, not just fringe figures, use religio-ethnic symbols to motivate and divide? Second, what do violent political conflicts look and feel like to people who claim to distance themselves from the majority religious tradition in their given context – and yet are fundamentally embedded within it? It sets out the logic of using Israel as a non-secular ‘hard case’ to explore this.

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